logo Walking Britain
Home About Holidays FAQ Email MENU ☰

Stac Pollaidh

Highland Walk

County/Area - Highland - Northern Highland

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 3.0 miles / 4.9 km    Ascent - 1750 feet / 530 metres

Time - 3 hours 20 minutes    Grade - easy/mod

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer 439Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer 439Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 15Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 15Digital Map1:50kBUY

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Stac Pollaidh
Click image to visit gallery of 12 images.

Stac Pollaidh is a small hill by Scottish standards yet it attracts many people than one might imagine. Occupying a solitary position in Assynt in northwest Scotland and with an unmistakable profile it soon becomes evident why this hill is climbed by so many people.

There is small car park (grid ref. NC107095) on the minor road running from the A835 Ullapool to Kylesku road to Lochinver. Cross the road and take the obvious path. You go through a deer fence and continue steeply uphill. Just after the second gate the path divides. Turn left here and still climbing, traverse the wild moorland across the southern face of the hill. The path is well constructed and eventually turns north and then east to reach the northern aspect of Stac Pollaidh.

Continue on the path to join the path coming from the other way and climb again more steeply onto the main ridge of the hill. The views are stupendous with many of the iconic hills of Sutherland including Cul Mor, Suilven, Canisp, and Quinag. If the weather is clear then the panorama will include many more hills in this beautifully wild part of Scotland.

For most people making the ascent onto Stac Pollaidh few will make the true summit. This requires a head for heights and some scrambling skills. Do be careful and do not over estimate your abilities. Despite its modest height this is a serious summit and the most challenging in the area. Despite not making the top you can still enjoy the views which are little different than from the true summit.

My preferred descent is to reverse the outward route and not make the full circular trip. Why? I suppose it is much quieter on the western half of the circuit than what most perceive as the shortest and more direct route at the eastern end of the hill. The descent is very pleasant with beautiful views ahead all the way down to the car park.

Other walks nearby

Walk 2274 Cul Mor from Knockan Cragmod/hard8.5 miles
Walk 1316 Falls of Kirkaigeasy5.8 miles
Walk 1769 Suilven (North-western approach)hard12.0 miles
Walk 1312 Achmelvich Bay and Alltanabradhaneasy3.0 miles
Walk 1319 The Bone Caves of Inchnadampheasy3.0 miles
Walk 1018 Beinn Ghobhlachmoderate6.0 miles
Walk 3272 Conival & Ben More Assynt from Inchnadamphhard11.0 miles
Walk 1317 Sail Gharbh (Quinag) from Kyleskumoderate5.4 miles
Walk 1117 Glas Bheinn & Eas a' Chual Aluinn (waterfall)mod/hard8.5 miles
Walk 1266 The Old Man of Stoer and the Point of Stoereasy4.5 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

Skye's Cuillin Ridge Traverse

Skye's Cuillin Ridge TraverseThis 2-volume set provides all the information required to complete the main ridge traverse on Skye's Black Cuillin. Strategy, gear, training, navigation and logistics are covered, and 10 classic scrambles are described. A lightweight second guidebook gives the scrambler detailed maps, topos and route description for the ridge traverse itself.
More information

Walking in Torridon

Walking in TorridonThis guidebook contains 52 day walks in Torridon, a remote and much-loved area of the Scottish Highlands. Based around Shieldaig and Slioch, the routes are split into 3 sections: easy walks, long and high level walks and mountain ascents over 2000ft including 9 Munros, and 5 outline suggestions for major ridge walks.
More information

Messaging & Social Media

Message Walking Britain and follow the latest news.

Facebook  Twitter

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.